Happy New Year!
The years seem to go by so quickly, right? While you may find yourself reflective every January, please don’t stress over any need to become a whole new you.
December can be rough. The holidays are stressful. They are a lot of work, there’s a lot of opportunities to eat and drink, and the season may bring sad times because of lost loved ones who are missed. Then January hits and you are bombarded with advertisements for weight loss:
“Lose 10 pounds in two days!”
“Start your skinny journey!”
“Make this the year you achieve results!”
Stop. Ignore those ads. For many folks, they just send messages like “I’m not good enough”.
You can choose to make improvements in yourself – but this does not mean that the improvement has to be about achieving some unrealistic body weight, shape, or form. You may want to change your attitude about life, you may want to change some of the unhealthy choices you’ve made (whether that be junk food, too much alcohol, working too much, or letting toxic people or situations get under your skin). Maybe you are a “giver” and you need to work on creating more time for your own needs.
But you don’t have to go on a crazy restrictive diet and start an insane exercise regime.
Just get back to a normal routine. My goal has always been to help people be comfortable with themselves, learn about how the body works, and focus on health, not appearance. Sure, we all want to be comfortable in our jeans, but jean size isn’t the only measure of health.
Weight management is just that – it’s day to day management of what you eat and how much you move. This isn’t something to “do in January”, this is something to work on continuously. When you do this, you aren’t ever “on a diet”, you are just setting new goals to live a healthier life. Because our lives change – we age, our living situation changes, our health may impact our activity (e.g. arthritis, an injury, or a heart condition), our schedules change – there are many variables – which is why you have to continually set small goals.
Yes, weight absolutely impacts your health status, but you don’t have to be skinny to be healthy. Add movement. Add healthy meals and snacks. Choose activities you enjoy. For me, that’s fresh air walks, yoga class, and meeting my trainer at the gym for weight lifting. Start the year off by planning healthy meals, and make these habits something you do every week – all 52 of them! Sure, some weeks will be “off”. That’s life! Stock the refrigerator or freezer with fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, salad, cut frozen veggies, lean meats and low fat dairy. Add some whole grains to your pantry like granola, whole grain cereal, barley, quinoa, or brown rice. Keep easy items on hand, and use simple recipes.
2019 Best Diets
US News and World Report once again has published their Best Diets 2019. This year, after 8 consecutive years of being ranked #1, the DASH Diet is ranked at number 2. The number one diet this year is the Mediterranean Diet. The top three are Mediterranean, DASH Diet, and Flexitarian Diet. Any of these are great choices for living a healthy life. Learn more here.